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Space Education NASA

Space Camp: Not Just For Kids Any More 48

The L.A. Times features a description of what space camp is like, not for for its traditional demographic of teens and pre-teens interested in science (and possibly thinking of careers in space), but for adults. The Huntsville program where writer Jane Engle spent three days playing astronaut gives adults a chance to experience simulated low gravity and fighter jet simulation. "We also spent hours inside mock-ups of a space shuttle cockpit, NASA mission control and the International Space Station, the settings for simulated shuttle missions that formed the core of our training. Working in teams, we took turns crewing the space shuttle orbiter, monitoring the mission, conducting research experiments and doing extravehicular activities, a.k.a. spacewalks, to make repairs." The price strikes me as surprisingly reasonable, too: about $550.
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Space Camp: Not Just For Kids Any More

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  • I know I worry all the time about some kid at Space Camp flipping the wrong switch and starting a terrifying chain of events, but have you ever noticed how there is no space between the words in the title of the documentary they made about it? [] Get it: NO SPACE! There's your first hint that it was all staged, like Neil Armstrong and the Capricorn One landing.

  • Go visit Congress when they are discussing NASA. That will change your mind.

  • by mha ( 1305 ) on Sunday October 06, 2013 @03:04PM (#45052407) Homepage

    It seems to me, from far away, that in reality the US is going farther and farther away from space exploration and research in general, so I am not sure if these efforts are "placeholders" and "proxy actions" by people so that they don't have to see the painful reality as much. Which doesn't make it bad of course! Just saying it also serves a psychological purpose for those creating such programs. We just had headlines about a NASA conference that excludes Chinese scientists (incl. those already doing research at US universities). Then there's the government shutdown, and the big political and economic problems - basically ZERO change after the last financial crisis, same people, same actions. From where I am (not in the US but reading as much as I can - used to live there for many years) most people couldn't care less about space, and it only gets worse.

  • by globaljustin ( 574257 ) on Sunday October 06, 2013 @03:05PM (#45052419) Journal

    I want to see a NASA space camp run in actual at the ISS.

    First of all, we should be mining the moon/asteroids and walking on Mars right now (and working towards Jupiter's moons)...basically right now...

    I know that's not the case, but we won't ever get there unless we start education programs that make spacefaring a common activity.

    I love NASA. If they could get non-political, operational leadership and budget NASA could put this together.

    Every gov't agency has training courses and such. FBI has Quantico, etc...NASA has this too it's just not well known.

    I say **build it out** out NASA's education program to provide challenges worthy of college and graduate-level students...make a pipeline to being the next 'Buzz Aldrin' without having to be in the military.

    And make part of the course a short visit to the ISS.

    Of course grad students would be going up to do research projects...

    It can happen...really this can start really is just a matter of paperwork!

    We could do it...

    • And make part of the course a short visit to the ISS.

      This already exists. You just need $20 million to throw around.

      • You just need $20 million to throw around.

        The DoD spends this on belt buckles & shoelaces. Don't tell me we don't have it.

        The money is there...more than enough in the budget...the problem is the GOP of course...Republicans (read: the ppl that fund them) are running the 'divide and conquer' using the federal budget.

  • fine print (Score:2, Funny)

    by bitt3n ( 941736 )

    The price strikes me as surprisingly reasonable, too: about $550.

    Sure it does, until you realize that's for their "Space-Shuttle Challenger" package.

  • I went when you could actually FLY, from Huntsville to Macon. It counts towards your pilot license as well.

    All you get now is simulated crap.

  • ... when Space Camp is in Space.
  • Seems kinda odd that the space camp spends so much time doing exercises that are designed around a vehicle that will never fly again... I thought our next generation vehicles were going to be more like traditional rockets than the space shuttle fleet.
    • by FPhlyer ( 14433 )

      Replacing all of the Space Camp infrastructure is prohibitively expensive. Besides what would they replace the Shuttle with? The Constellation program was cancelled and there is always the chance that the next U.S. President will just cancel the current President's vision for a manned space program. You could replace all the Space Shuttle stuff with a simulation of the ISS but you'd probably hit the ISS's end of life (2020) before you could get all the Shuttle stuff replaced at Space Camp.

      Remember; the shut

      • by Kogun ( 170504 )

        On all other points you've made, kudos. However, Space Camp does not operate within the budget of NASA. It is part of the United State Space and Rocket Center Museum. Having developed and sold a simulator to Space Camp, I wish they had part of NASA's budget. Museums are not deep pocket customers.

        I don't believe the value of the current simulators (none of which I worked on, btw) is diminished in the least by being reflective of the last 32 years of manned flight. The important parts of what is being ta

  • I believe it is called "Ender's Game".

The greatest productive force is human selfishness. -- Robert Heinlein